A display of erotic etchings by Picasso has enraged the Russian Orthodox Church in Siberia, with religious leaders pushing to close the exhibition in Novosibirsk’s Local History Museum.
Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berdsk berated the works at a meeting with the Novosibirsk Mayor. The Metropolitan argued that Moscow and the “rest of the world” had refused to display the titillating etchings, which have in fact been exhibited in several cities worldwide.
Tikhon’s main concern is that despite an age restriction, the exhibition has been promoted on local TV and is being visited by schoolchildren under 18.
The 100 or so explicit lithographic prints from Picasso’s 1968 Suite 347 series are being displayed in Russia for the first time. Picasso produced the series near the end of his life, naming it after the number of sheets it contains. The works are among the final hand-signed etchings and engravings Pablo Picasso ever created.
The museum’s spokesperson told RIA Novosti news agency that the museum has not been made aware of Metropolitan Tikhon’s ire, and promised an official statement would follow.